The region of Europe known as the Balkans is normally restricted to the area that used to be Yugoslavia, but it is geographically much larger and needs to be seen in its expanded format that includes Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Greece, with that portion of Turkey that has had so much influence on the region over many centuries. Side 1 is dominated by the great land mass of historic strategic importance that has been fought over for centuries. Nowadays, conflict is still threatening, with Kosovo and Serbia always at each other’s throats and Romania warily watching Russia’s aggression next door in both Ukraine and Moldova. Attitudes are shifting towards closer integration with the EU in the region, with Albania, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro clamouring for admission and NATO being looked at to provide security against further Russian aggression. As a result, the region retains huge geopolitical significance, but it also offers touristic opportunities that are difficult to find in crowded European countries. Names like Zagreb, Brasov, Sofia, Tirane, and Skopje may not resonate as well as London or Paris, but the entire region offers a distinctive unique attractiveness that will strongly influence all of Europe in the decades to come. Besides, it’s a lovely part of the world – a road less travelled!
Map size: 27*39"
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